For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been having drainage problems. Not the kind caused by rogue tree roots under your basement floor (we’ve experienced that particular brand of annoyance), but rather the kind that makes your sinks drain really slowly. The kind you don’t really understand but hope it just sorts itself out. Throw a bottle of toxic drain cleaner in there and hold your breath. That didn’t work. The slow drain led to a non-draining laundry tub which overflowed with every load. When the next bottle of toxic drain cleaner yielded no results, a rubber hose was connected from the washing machine to the floor drain to reroute the rinse cycle. An effective stopgap solution, but hardly a permanent one.

Then the dishwasher started to leak. A lot.

I seem to be okay with a hose running along the basement floor but I draw the line at a lack of dishwasher. I have my limits.

The drain guy came in and did his thing with a scary looking electric snake. Turns out there’s been an accumulation of crud in our pipes from last year’s tile work in our basement. A year after the fact, our sloppy workmanship finally caught up with us. Washing the grouting tools in the laundry tub led to the build-up. Which blocked the tub. Which tied into the dishwasher and caused it to leak.

So now things are moving. But still slowly. One more step to go…though the drain is somewhat clear…we need to add another vent…something about neutral air pressure. All I understand is that this will help the flow. And flow is good.

So here’s the thing. I’m a sucker for metaphors and this here’s a doozy.

We all have emotional crud. Some of us have more, some of us have less. It might originate from our own incompetence (like washing tools in a laundry sink) or from factors beyond our control (like roots growing under our floor). But it’s still our crud to deal with. And if you don't deal with it, it WILL back up and cause leakages in other areas of your life (sound familiar?). And that's another big mess to deal with. So deal with the blockages. Here are some ways you can approach it:

a) leave it alone and watch everything back up b) dump toxic crap in and see what happens c) chip away at the crud; or, d) vent it out.

I highly recommend c) and d).

Talk to a friend, find a good coach, do the work and watch the crud drain away. Let it flow, let it flow.